SECTION E OF THE HUMAN ORGANIC NOTES
CONNECTIONS OF BODY AND MIND
Part 4, Chapter I
THE OPERATION OF THE SOUL IN THE BODY
Introduction: The Ends of the Soul
In DLW 330-335 the three planes of uses are listed:
Uses for sustaining the body, for perfecting the rational, and for receiving
the spiritual from the Lord.
In the Animal Kingdom, 464-466, it is similarly
shown how the soul operates in the body for a threefold purpose:
1. Its proximate end
is to form and maintain the body and enable it to function as a physical
whole, so that the soul may have an organic tool which can carry out its
behests as uses in the natural world and at the same time express and represent
the stat of
its mind by actions and speech.
This is accomplished by the soul when it directs
and times the storage of energy in the form of tissue material and heat,
release of this energy in proper series. This proximate end of the
soul is largely temporal, since it has regard to its life in the
realm of nature.
2. The more remote end
of the soul is to prepare an abode for its mind, in and by which the soul
can freely determine its form and character, using contacts with space
and time as a basis of reference.
This operation looks to the development of the human
brain and to furnishing the brain cells with the subtlest nutriment that
intestinal chyle and the atmospheres can supply, and exposing the brain
to the inmost tremulations and most delicate harmonic
vibrations which the environment may offer. For the brain and the nervous
system of the body and the surrounding world, and
to intermediate between spirit and matter, in action and sensation.
Through the rational mind and a uniting medium, the world
and heaven are conjoined.
3. The final end - and the
first to which the soul looks - is that our minds or spirits may become
forms of intelligence and
innocence, and citizens of a spiritual heaven, in fulfillment of God's
purpose in creation.
The interior operations of the boyd are governed by
the influx of life from the lord through the soul and are not felt by man
would pervert their order (DP 296:14, 180:6). Still the soul acts always
according to the laws of its order and according to
certain recognizable principles, such as those of Use, of Series
and Degrees. Correspondence Influx. and Forms.
To this end the soul or spirit appropriates a
substratum of the inmost organic substance of the natural body. This finest
substance of nature serves after death to hold the corporeal memory unchanged
and quiescent, in entire correspondence with the character man acquired
during earth-life. (1274)
A. THE PRINCIPLE OF USE
1. A characteristic philosophical doctrine,
suggested in the preparatory works of Swedenborg(1275)
and fully taught in the
Writings, is the Doctrine of Uses. Read the posthumous treatise
on Divine Love, and Canons, Crea. vii.
a) From creation, nothing exists upon the earth
which is not for use. (Examples). Atmospheres, waters, and matter, are
means for the generation and production of animate and vegetative forms
of life.(1276) The world is a complex of uses in
successive order for the human race.(1277) Uses
are the ends of creation: nothing can be created except uses.(1278)
Everything in heaven, the world, and the human body,
both great and small, has been created from use, in use, and for use. The
part in which the ultimate (which is use) ceases, is separated as harmful
and is cast out as damned.(1279)
Man is a complex of all the uses in both worlds.(1280)
Man is a form of all uses, and all uses in creation correspond to these
In the body, whatever any viscus or part requires,
it derives from the blood and tissues. "The particulars consider nothing
their own, devote it to the common good wherever required."(1282)
The blood is for the body like the "common good" is in a
society "The common good exists from the g oods of use which individuals
perform; and the goods of use which individuals
perform subsists from the common good." (1283)
Everything in the human body, even excrementitious humors, must perform
An illustration of the principle that everything
in the body is for a use, is found in the uses assigned to the "veriform
appendi." (1285) This organ was long regarded as useless
or merely: vestigial. Lately functions have been discovered for the tonsils,
the spleen and various glands formerly believed of no use.
b) Every point in creation flows from a use
and tends to a use. (1286) All things in the body are
formed according to the
use.(1287) There is a series or circle of uses.(1288)
INFLUXES INTO NATURE AND ITS KINGDOME
The nature of a member or organ is known from its
use. The use determines what the organ is in itself, or in its own form;
it is in series with other organs which are contiguous to it and surround
it, and which continuously precede or follow it; and what
it is in order with those that are above and below... The use and end
are ... the very soul of the thing ..(1289)
c) Uses and their forms make one as the principal
and the instrumental.(1290)
The use existed before the organic forms of the body
came forth, and the use produced and adapted them to itself; and not the
converse. But when the forms have been produced or the organs adapted,
the uses proceed from them; and then it appears as
if ... the organs exist before the uses....(1291)
In the created universe, use can never be separated from organics ....
Every use is
therefore first seen from ultimates, because man is born such that
he is instructed through sensual things ...(1292)
d) Those things are called uses which,
from the Lord, are in order from creation; not those things which are from
proprium.(1293) Use is for the sake of others.
Use cannot come forth from man, but must be in man from the Lord.(1294)
man is born for any other end than that he may perform a use to the
society in which he is and a use in the other life.(1295)
Uses are uses in the order, degree and respect in
which they have relation to man and through man to the Lord.(1296)
Since the end of creation is an angelic heaven from the human race ...
all other created things are mediate ends; ( 1) for sustaining the
body, (2) for perfecting his rational, (3) for receiving the spiritual
from the Lord. (1297) These things cannot be
said to be
uses from man for the Lord's sake, but from the Lord for man's sake.
Good uses or "uses from the Lord mean all things
which perfect man's rational and cause him to receive what is spiritual..."
uses are things harmful to man, which destroy his rational and close
Superfluity does not take away use, but causes uses
Abuse does not take away use except with him who
2. The uses of all created things ascend
by degrees from ultimates, through higher and ever more complex organic
forms, as is
seen in the three kingdoms of nature; and through man, in whom all
degrees of creation are concentrated, these uses ascend -
as spiritual use - to God whence they had sprung.(1301)
B. THE PRINCIPLE OF SERIES,
ORDER, AND DEGREES
In its operations in the body, the soul forms the
substances of nature into successive organic degrees, arranged in series
associated in orders. The Doctrine of Series and Degrees teaches the
mode by which all things in nature are subordinated and
1. Discrete degrees
are degrees of successive composition or production, and are formed one
from another.(1303) The degrees of each series are
homogeneous because from a common origin.(1304) But
in the conformation of lower organic degrees, "such things are 'added,
from purer nature and then from grosser, as may serve for containing vessels".
When a degree has been thus "terminated", it becomes a "plane" which holds
and receives the influx(1305) And on the dissolution
of the natural vessels the
singulars and particulars of the interior degrees "return to the degree
next higher."(1306) Thus "the prior can exist without
posterior, but not the posterior without the prior."(1307)
2. Degrees are arranged into
Natural examples are the following:
(a) Spirituous fluid, purer blood,
It should be noted that the "simplex" from which the
compounds or lower degrees are formed, are not "simple substances" (like
"monads" and "atoms") but the least of their series.(1313)
(b) The simple (or simplest) fibre, the medullary
(or compound) fibre, the nerve.(1310)
(c) Minute fibres, motor fibres, muscle.(1311)
(d) Corporeal unities (cells), tissues, organ.(1312)
Organs are also arranged into series which testify
to common uses, and
this in correspondence to heavenly societies.(1314)
The body consists of forms within forms and series within series.(1315)
3. Trines. Discrete degrees tend to form
tripes, so as to become complete in the ultimate.(1316)
The binary series is ever
The organs of the body also are functionally connected
in trinal series: The spleen, pancreas, and liver purify the blood. The
pancreas, omentum, and liver "secrete the blood and serum". The pancreatic
duct cooperates with the hepatic and cystic to
circulate secretions needed for digestion. The stomach, small intestines,
and colon prepare the chyle. The kidneys, ureter, and
bladder excrete the worthless serum.(1318)
Although not mentioned by Swedenborg, there are also
three kinds of blood particles - the platelets, the leucocytes, and the
Pancreas has no relation to blood purification.
I find it hard to imagine what is meant by the pancreas,
omentum, and liver secreting the blood and serum.
One might postulate that there is a purifying triad
of the blood in the lungs, liver, kidneys; and another in
the spleen, lymph nodes, and liver (lymphatic system).
- Dr. Robert Alden
C. THE DOCTRINE OF CORRESPONDENCES
Influx takes place according to "correspondence".
To find the causes of the operations and effects manifest in the body,
must explore what things in a superior degree correspond to
those in the inferior realm.(1319)
By analogy and eminence, or by correspondence, causes
can be seen as in a mirror.(1320) In the Animal
Swedenborg states that "the physical world was purely symbolical of
the spiritual world", so that "if we choose to express any
natural truth in physical and definite vocal terms and convert these
terms into the corresponding spiritual terms, we shall be this means elicit
a spiritual truth or theological dogma in place of the physical truth ...
This symbolism pervades the living body."-(Examples of this symbolic reasoning
are given in the "Hieroglyphic Key".)
The higher bloods thus contain the "causes" of the
quality of the corresponding red blood; the simple fibre the causes of
corresponding artery; the intuition of the mind the causes of the sensations
of the sense organs. (1322) But obversely, the nature,
form, and functions of the organic abodes of the soul in the inmost recesses
of the cortical glands could be inferred by analogy to corresponding
structures such as the heart and the lungs, if one only took care to abstract
notions which are unsuitable to the higher organics.
D. THE DOCTRINE OF MAN AS MICROCOSM
1. The greatest is always represented in the
least, the general in the particular; the whole man in the blood corpuscle,
which has both soul and body; the brain in the cortical gland; the tongue
in each papilla, etc.(1323) For nature is similar in
its greatest and its feasts, because "the Divine in the greatest and the
least is the same.''(1324)
2. The body, especially that of man, is a kind
of universe or a microcosm which is in a manner exempt from the laws and
powers of the macrocosm.(1325) Hence, while all
parts tend to nature's center of gravity, the fluids of the body are moved
by a conatus of their own and do not recognize the same directions as the
E. THE LAW OF INFLUX
1. The influx of the soul into the body
is determined by general laws which operate apart from men's knowledge.(1327)
Influx is the activity of a superior degree upon a lower one, or of prime
substances upon their derivatives. Influx is therefore "successive operation,
" i.e., operation by discrete degrees in successive order.(1328)
Successive order inflows into simultaneous order.
2. The soul inflows universally and singularly
into the viscera of the body; if this were not so, nothing ordinate or
come forth in the body.(1330) The soul is present
not here or there but in every part of the body.(1331)
There is a reciprocal
union, wherefore the body acts from the soul, not the soul through
3. As to the nature of the influx of the mind
or spirit into the body: "There is not any descent or influx from the brains,
from the head into the body, for ... man's mind is his spirit, which
is a perfect man and is interiorly in the body everywhere. Thus
the words 'descent' and 'influx' are said from appearance". "Man's
mind or spirit acts into the body in an instant and acts
simultaneously and not successively for the spirit is not in a place
4. Conjunction and creation always take place
in ultimates.(1334) Hence the generative organs are
situated in the lower
abdomen. The principle may be illustrated by the union of soul and
body which occurs in the blood-corpuscle where the lowest
chyle is combined with the life-bearing spirituous fluid in order that
the soul may feed and build the body.
The marrow is a tissue (or organ) which
produces the red corpuscle. Although the red cell comprises
approximately 1/3 (?) of the blood volume, its chief function is to
carry oxygen. In a more universal sense
the red cells function only as a relatively small part of the blood.
The blood is a carrier also of many
electrolytes in venous combinations, hormones, enzymes, nutrients,
antibodies, etc.; which have no
apparent need for or relation to red cell function. - Dr. Robert Alden
5. Divine influx passes from primes through intermediates
into ultimates, and through a connection with ultimates into
mediates.(1335) Divine order never stops (subsistit)
in the middle and there forms anything without an ultimate, for it is not
fullness and perfection (in mediates); but it goes even to the ultimate;
and when it is in its ultimate, then it forms, and also -
through means there gathered - it reintegrates itself and produces
further, which is done through procreations ....(1336)
This illustrates the reason why every spirit
must be born a man on an earth. It also shows why the Lord, through the
soul, forms the body and brain and, by sensations from the world, prepares
the brain as an ultimate for the formation of the mediates, viz., the mind.
F. EQUILIBRIUM IN THE BODY
1. The tissues select their nutriment from the
circulating vital fluids in an autonomous fashion, and invite the
kind and quantity of blood that they require.(1337)
2. The blood is resolved and is born again in
each round of its circulation. Red Blood, xviii, xx,
3. There is a constant striving in the body for an equilibrium or a
state of equation, especially as to the quality and relative
amount of the various fluids. Life is marked by a perpetual destruction
and restoration of the equilibrium.(1338)
FORMS OF THE UNIVERSE
G. THE DOCTRINE OF FORMS
The influx of life accommodates itself to the forms
and degrees-of the created universe. In his manuscript on The Fibre
continuation of the Economy) Swedenborg outlines his concept
of these finite forms. (See Diagram.)
"From the Divine proceeds the spiritual; from the
spiritual is created the celestial(1339) is produced
and flows the vortical", and so forth. Thus he conceived of six degrees
successively derived from the Divine by a process of composition.(1340)
When a compound form is dissolved, it reverts to the prior form.(1341)
"In each degree of creation, when forms are carried
up by this ladder, something earthly, material, and infinite is superadded
and put on."(1342)
When the spiritual form inflows into the natural
forms of the universe, a series of other forms are produced, called Vital
Forms or Souls of varying perfection. Such are angelic forms,
human souls and minds, and also the souls of brutes. Vital forms are thus
created not only for motion but for the reception of life and intelligence.(1343)
Besides the "forms of the universe" and "vital forms",
there are also "forms of the vegetable kingdom" and "forms of
the mineral kingdom.(1344)
The soul is the form of forms of its body.(1345)n
Its immediate tool and offspring is the "spirituous fluid". This subtile
essence "flashes" through the simplest fibres which weave the entire
body. The "simple Fibre" is not to be conceived as a solid
substance but "approaches rather to the nature of a fluid."(1346)
An outline of the fundamental philosophical doctrines
to which Swedenborg was led by his preparatory studies, and which became
the vehicle for the revealed doctrine of the New Church, is given in "The
Principles of the New Philosophy", by Hugo Lj. Odhner.(1347)
C O M P A R A T I V E T E R M S
EMPLOYED TO EXPRESS THE RELATION BETWEEN SPIRIT AND MORTAL BODY
(I Cor. XV.44)
link between Spirit and
body; origin of
Archaeus and of
1274 See section IV, G and H (p. F22-F23), on the
1275 As in AK 531, and note m.
1276 D. Wis. viii.; DLW 313ff.
1277 TCR 13.
1278 DLW 308.
1279 AE 1194e. cp AC 503.
1280 D. Love v.4.
1281 DLW 298.
1282 SD 1121-
1283 Char. 127 ff.; D. Love xii: l, 2, xiii. 3.
1284 AC 1103.
1285 AK 138.
1286 AK 531m, 260s.
1287 AK 531m, 284d; I Econ. 251f; 2 Econ. 365.7
1288 AK 464K, 260s.
1289 AK 32.
1290 SD 4630.
1291 AC 4223.
1292 SD 3577.
1293 DLW 298.
1294 DLW 308.
1295 AC 1103.
1296 LW 327.
1297 DLW 327-334, gen. art.
1298 DLW 335.
1299 See DLW 336-339.
1300 DLW 331e.
1301 See DEW 65-68, 170; LJ 9; AC 3702.
1302 I Econ.580.
1303 DLW 184, 195; see section C pages 8 et seq.
1304 DLW 192, 195.
1305 AC 5145, cf DLW 194.
1306 AC 5114, DLW 194
1307 I Econ. 67, 617.
1308 DLW 214, 215.
1309 I Econ. 95, 96.
1310 DLW 190.
1311 DLW 190.
1312 532 notes, 533 b.
1313 AK 532; I Econ. 592, 593ff, 613ff.
1314 AC 10303: 3; AK 230, 230m.
1315 AK 450
1316 ss 28; Coro. 17; DLW 209.
1317 AK 534, 229, 229m. But compare LJ post
1318 AK 229, 227.
1319 l Econ. 648.
1320 Such correspondences are first suggested
in 1 Econ. 649.
1321 AK 293, 293u.
1322 I Econ. 649.
1323 AK 536.
1324 DLW 77; LJ 9.]
1325 AK 147a, 133, 484-86.
1326 AE 159:3; SD 2063,3727,3559,4063.
1327 See concerning general influx.
1328 Infl.1 3.
1329 CL 314.
1330 AC 6338:2.
1331 D. Wis. ii.2e; Inv. 13.
1332 Inv. 48.
1333 Missing work On Marriage, 60, 61.
1334 D. Wis. viii.2:3; HH 315.
1335 D. Wis. viii.2.
1336 HH 315. 261 1338 AK 203z,a, 409s;
1337AK 203, 214r.
1338 AK 203z,a, 409s; TCR478.
1339 The term "celestial" does not here refer
to the angelic heaven nor to what the Writings call the celestial or highest
From about 1738 to 1745 Swedenborg used the term 'celestial' to describe
the most complex astronomical form of the
universe, the highest degree of the physical world, "perpetually vortical."
Other writers have used the word 'astral' to describe
this highest form of nature.
1340 Fibre 272, 273. 1
1341 Fibre 273 Cf AC 5114. .
1342 Fibre 271
1343 Fibre 269.
1344 Fibre 270
1345 Fibre 287
1346 Fibre 294
1347 Reprinted from the New Philosophy, Vol. XIIV,
no. 3 (July, 1941).